Mott’s Response to the Flint Water Crisis
On May 11, 2016, the Mott Foundation announced we would commit up to $100 million in grants over a five-year period to help the city of Flint recover and rise from its water crisis. While we fulfilled that commitment ahead of schedule in June 2020, we continued to make related grants throughout the five-year period. This page highlights our support — a total of $116.7 million — for water crisis recovery efforts through May 11, 2021. Support for the Flint area continues to be the largest of Mott’s four grantmaking programs. You can stay up to date on our local grantmaking at Mott.org/Flint.
TOTAL FLINT WATER-RELATED GRANTMAKING TO DATE
Access to Safe Drinking Water
Support to date: $5.2 million
From furnishing residents with home water filters and helping the community reconnect to the Detroit water system, to supporting the independent oversight of local water testing activities, Mott is working to help ensure that all Flint residents have access to clean, safe drinking water.
City of Flint: $4 million to help the city reconnect to the Detroit water system.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan: $284,000 for the operation of two community Help Centers in Flint. The centers offer residents a “one-stop shop” for bottled water and filters, food assistance and other essential services.
Genesee Health System: $241,000 for the operation of community Help Centers in Flint. The centers offer residents a “one-stop shop” for bottled water and filters, food assistance and other essential services.
United Way of Genesee County: $100,000 to provide lead-eliminating water filters to city of Flint residents.
Freshwater Future: $24,000 in 2018 and $82,227 in 2019 to engage local residents and partners in testing filtered water in Flint, and support continued awareness and education about filter usage and maintenance.
Evergreen Community Development Initiative: $70,000 in 2019 and $70,000 in 2020 to support the operations of the Community Water Lab at the Flint Development Center. Scientists and staff of the lab will work with residents to collect water samples, test for multiple contaminants, provide results and work with households to address any identified issues.
Community Foundation of Greater Flint: $100,000 to support Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Marc Edwards to act as advisors on the sampling of water, ongoing issues related to water quality, and water infrastructure upgrades.
Meeting the Health Needs of Families
Support to date: $13.4 million
Mott grantmaking is helping to mitigate the health impacts of lead exposure among Flint residents, especially children. This includes support for expanded access to nutritious foods and medical and mental health services, and for efforts designed to help the community meet emerging and future health needs resulting from the water crisis.
Foundation for Flint: $5 million to support programs that address the impact of lead exposure in Flint children and families.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan: $160,000 to fund facility enhancements that will enable the Food Bank to process millions of pounds of donated frozen produce that is high in nutrients recommended by the medical community to mitigate the effects of lead exposure, especially in children.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan: $62,0000 to aid in the distribution of fresh and healthy food in Genesee County and also supply nine Flint agencies with coolers and freezers to increase its capacity to store and distribute more fresh and frozen produce.
Fair Food Network: $100,000 in 2016, $150,000 in 2017, $150,000 in 2018, $150,000 in 2019 and $150,000 in 2020 to expand the successful Double Up Food Bucks program, which doubles the value of SNAP Bridge Cards at the Flint Farmers’ Market and select stores in Flint. This program is helping to provide the healthy fruits and vegetables necessary for families affected by lead.
Genesee Health System:
- $473,000 in 2016, $200,000 in 2017, $150,000 in 2019 and $100,000 in 2020 to increase community-based mental health services in Flint.
- $5.5 million in 2021 to support the construction of a new children’s medical facility that will provide both mental and physical health services to Flint area families.
Greater Flint Health Coalition: $245,000 in 2016, $245,000 in 2017, $200,000 in 2018 and $150,000 in 2019 to help the organization increase its capacity to lead the design, coordination and delivery of health-related activities in response to the Flint water crisis.
Pew Charitable Trusts: $50,000 to include input from Flint residents in a national research effort that seeks to offer local, state and national recommendations for addressing the impacts of lead in policies related to water infrastructure, housing, early childhood education and health.
United Way of Genesee County: $90,000 to support community communications efforts of the Flint Water Recovery Group, a network of 160 nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations, grassroots groups and individuals. The project will provide credible and accessible information to the community about water quality and available services through the Flintcares.com website and The Bottom Line print publication.
Valley Area Agency on Aging: $43,000 to support community events that provide seniors with water-related information, access to lead-mitigating foods and opportunities to address their transportation needs.
Supporting Educational Opportunity
Support to date: $69.0 million
To ensure that all Flint kids, especially those who have been exposed to lead, have the tools they need to succeed in school, work and life, Mott is helping to expand early childhood education services in the city, and support a reimagined approach to community education. We’re also funding local afterschool, summer and youth employment programs, and efforts to help area young people stay engaged in their education.
Crim Fitness Foundation: More than $16 million to support community education in the Flint Community Schools District. The community education strategy helps to provide students, including those who may have been exposed to lead, with strong, research-based educational and enrichment opportunities. Those grants are:
- $2.9 million in 2016, $2.86 million in 2017, $3.1 million in 2018, $3.3 million in 2019 and $3.3 million in 2020 to support community education in all Flint Community Schools.
- $110,000 in 2017, $120,000 in 2019 and $140,000 in 2020 to support the Community Education Innovation Fund, which seeks to help community school directors develop innovative approaches to parent and community engagement.
- $150,000 in 2019 to provide, lend, circulate and maintain sports and recreation equipment at the 13 community education sites and at four community center if Flint.
- $50,000 to support First Tee, a program that uses the game of golf to help young people develop life skills and advance their education.
Flint Community Schools: Nearly $5.1 million to help the Flint Community Schools respond to the needs of children and families, including those affected by the water crisis. Those grants are:
- $234,000 to build the district’s capacity to provide the high-quality educational programming and enrichment activities needed to bolster children against the negative effects of lead exposure.
- $986,948 to provide students across the district with an engaging, high quality curriculum in reading, language arts and social studies.
- $40,600 to launch a case management system designed to align community education resources and supports with students’ needs.
- $100,000 in 2016 to support the superintendent with technical assistance to ensure high-quality educational programming and enrichment activities within the Flint Community Schools system.
- $417,415 in 2016 and $989,780 in 2017 to help implement a model of instruction designed to help refine and supplement teacher instructional skills to meet rigorous academic standards and develop principals’ skills to support teacher instruction.
- $150,000 to help teachers explore, create and pursue innovative approaches to inspiring and engaging their students.
- $87,000 in 2016 and $170,858 in 2017 to provide young at-risk children and their families with the academic, social, nutrition and fitness supports necessary for future educational success and to mitigate the negative health impacts of lead absorption, particularly among young children.
- $250,000 in 2016 and $278,400 in 2017 to support the district in developing and executing a marketing campaign aimed at retaining and recruiting students to the district, which has become even more important given the potential destabilizing effects of the water crisis on the city’s residential population.
- $160,425 to support improvements to the district’s parking lots, thereby helping to create a safe and welcoming environment for educators, students and the community.
- $300,000 to introduce a new middle school curriculum that offers students a variety of hands-on, project-based learning opportunities.
- $887,726 to provide students and teachers with tools, resources and technologies that support high-quality instruction and assessment.
Foundation for Flint: $9 million in 2016 and $2 million in 2017 to support the construction of a new early childhood education center in Flint. Expanding the number of high quality early childhood education slots has become an urgent priority as a result of the city’s water crisis.
Foundation for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation: $1 million to renovate a former elementary school into an early education center that will provide services for young children in Flint who may have been exposed to lead.
Community Foundation of Greater Flint: $1.9 million to support early childhood education, which plays an essential role in identifying and addressing the needs of young children, including those who may have been exposed to lead. Those grants are:
- $300,000 in 2016, two grants — $250,000 and $100,000 — in 2017, $250,000 in 2018, $250,000 in 2019 and $250,000 in 2020 to support the management of an early childhood education partnership in Flint.
- $450,000 in 2019 to support the research and evaluation of early childhood education efforts in Flint to assess the impact of practice and policy for children and families, and help guide and inform next steps.
- $50,000 to explore a coordinated system for enrolling children in local early learning programs.
Genesee Area Focus Fund: $2.98 million in 2016, $3 million in 2017, $2.96 million in 2018, $3.5 million in 2019 and $3.7 million in 2020 to provide high-quality, research-based afterschool programming in all Flint public schools. As a crucial part of community school programming, YouthQuest includes academic support, enrichment activities, physical fitness and healthy behaviors, nutrition education, youth development and leadership skill-building, and family and community engagement, all of which are important for children who may have been exposed to lead.
Michigan State University: $2.12 million in 2016, $1 million in 2017, $500,000 in 2018, two grants totaling $751,470 in 2019 ($251,470 and $500,000) and two grants totaling $500,000 in 2020 ($150,000 and $350,000) to support Flint Community Schools with technical assistance aimed at improving teaching and learning across the district, a goal which has become even more important with exposure to lead among Flint children.
Cranbrook Educational Community: $263,660 in 2016, $520,000 in 2017, $469,720 2018, $500,000 in 2019 and $500,000 in 2020 to provide Flint students in grades K–12 with supplemental educational opportunities in STEM, which has become even more important in light of the city’s water crisis.
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint: $55,000 to provide year-round educational, recreational, health and family support services to young people in Flint between the ages of 7 and 17. Educational and enrichment opportunities for children and youth are important interventions to help mitigate the long-term impacts of exposure to lead.
Flint Cultural Center Corporation: $100,000 in 2016, $100,000 in 2017 and $100,000 in 2018 to support outreach and educational programming for students attending Flint Community Schools and other at-risk youth living in the community. Also, $250,000 to determine the feasibility of a school located on the Flint Cultural Center campus that offers an enriched arts- and science-based curriculum. High quality educational and enrichment programming are crucial interventions in addressing the long-term impacts of childhood exposure to lead.
Genesee Area Focus Fund: $825,000 in 2016, $825,000 in 2017, $825,000 in 2018, $825,000 in 2019 and $825,000 in 2020 to provide paid job opportunities and leadership training for teens in Flint during the summer months. The program will emphasize placing teens at businesses and nonprofits that are providing services to residents who have been affected by the water crisis.
Genesee Intermediate School District: $150,000 in 2016, $150,000 in 2017 and $150,000 in 2018 to support the Genesee Early College, an innovative, educational program designed to prepare high school students for academic and professional careers in health and the science, technology, engineering and math fields. Faculty will encourage students to enroll in coursework that focuses on the Flint water crisis and that provides youth with a platform to share their related perspectives on campus and in the community.
Greater Flint Health Coalition: $175,000 in 2016, $175,000 in 2017 and $175,000 in 2018 to build the long-term capacity of Flint’s healthcare sector to respond to the water crisis by creating sustainable employment opportunities and promoting career advancement for healthcare workers who are residents of Flint and Genesee County.
Metro Community Development: $52,708 to promote economic and social recovery from the Flint water crisis by expanding educational, career and life opportunities for Flint area youth.
Mott Community College: $3 million to renovate a former church into an early education center that will provide services for young children in Flint and their families. Also, $49,050 to reconnect participants to education that will lead toward obtaining a high school diploma, GED, and higher education or employment. Eligible students will have the opportunity to apply for jobs distributing water through the Flint WaterWorks program.
Specialized Employment Services, Inc.: $85,000 in 2016, $85,000 in 2017 and $85,000 in 2018 to encourage at-risk youth to complete high school and empower them to make informed career decisions through attitudinal training, skill enhancement, mentoring, tutoring, summer employment placement and follow-up services during the school year. Over the course of the summer, students will take part in weekly water-related volunteer activities. Also, $150,000 in 2016, $150,000 in 2017, $150,000 in 2018 and two grants — $150,000 and $150,000 — in 2019 to provide employment training, job placement and support services for Flint area residents seeking entry-level jobs, and prepare workers to assume jobs related to water recovery.
Sphinx Organization: $100,000 to introduce students in all Flint public elementary schools to classical music and the violin. The program will provide students with free group violin lessons after school as an important enrichment opportunity for students who may have been exposed to lead.
University of Michigan-Flint: $415,700 in 2016 and $415,700 in 2017 to create and maintain a pipeline-to-college preparatory program that will equip young people from low-income families and underserved communities with the knowledge and skills they need to enter into and succeed in college. This program addresses the intensive educational needs of young people who may have been exposed to lead.
Strengthening the Nonprofit and Public Sectors
Support to date: $3.4 million
Local community organizations remain a vital link in the response to Flint’s water crisis. Mott is helping these agencies to strengthen their operations, forge local partnerships and develop long-term responses to evolving local needs. We’ve also made grants to increase the number of state and national service members who are assisting locally in such areas as education, public safety, health and the environment.
United Way of Genesee County: $250,000 in 2016, $410,000 in 2017 and $300,000 in 2018 to provide general purposes support to the United Way of Genesee County, a health and human services organization serving the residents of Genesee County. The agency has played a leading role in the local response to Flint’s water crisis.
Community Foundation of Greater Flint: $520,000 to support the Flint National Service Accelerator Fund, which helps Flint area agencies leverage state and national service members through the Corporation for National and Community Service and its affiliates. Flint area service members support a wide range of projects and activities, including assistance to area residents affected by the water crisis. Also, $250,000 to build the capacity of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint to continue its work related to the Flint water crisis response.
Latinx Technology & Community Center: $50,000 in 2017, $100,000 in 2019 and $60,000 in 2020 to build the organization’s capacity to help the community address ongoing needs related to the water crisis.
Metro Community Development: $135,000 in 2016, $135,000 in 2017, $135,000 in 2018 and $135,000 in 2019 to build the capacity of the organization’s Community Development Financial Institution and asset building activities to promote small business and mortgage lending, and stabilize neighborhoods affected by the water crisis.
Promoting Community Engagement
Support to date: $1.0 million
We believe Flint residents must have a voice in responding to the challenges posed by the city’s water crisis. To that end, Mott is supporting work with neighborhood associations, block clubs and other grassroots groups to engage people with the closest ties to the community in determining its future.
Greater Flint Health Coalition: $300,000 to provide consulting staff support for the Flint Action Coordination Team, which will convene cross-sectoral stakeholders to develop an organized, long-term response to the issues created by lead-contaminated water.
Genesee County Habitat for Humanity: $140,000 in 2016, $140,000 in 2017, $140,000 in 2018, $125,000 in 2019 and $125,000 in 2020 to make grants available to organized neighborhood groups to fund projects with immediate positive impact on the neighborhood environment and residents’ quality of life.
Revitalizing the Local Economy
Support to date: $24.7 million
To restart and accelerate the economic recovery that was emerging in Flint when the water crisis hit, we’re supporting local initiatives that provide job training and placement, help budding entrepreneurs to launch new ventures, and engage residents in stabilizing and strengthening their neighborhoods. We continue to support the revitalization of Flint’s downtown corridor, as well as efforts to attract new employers and investment to the overall community.
Genesee Area Focus Fund: Two grants — $2 million and $50,000 — in 2016, $2 million in 2017, $1,765,000 in 2018, $1,765,000 in 2019, $1,765,000 in 2020 and $1,765,000 in 2021 to support efforts by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce to promote economic resilience in Flint and assist small businesses struggling to recover from the lead-in-water emergency.
Center for Community Progress: $1.1 million in 2016 and $1 million in 2017 to support research, advocacy, technical assistance and capacity building to combat the negative effects of property vacancy and abandonment in post-industrial urban areas, with a special focus on helping Flint neighborhoods to recover from the adverse effects of the water crisis.
Genesee County Land Bank Authority: $240,000 in 2016, $240,000 in 2017, $240,000 in 2018 and $240,000 in 2019 to engage residents affected by the water crisis in the planning and decision-making processes that shape their neighborhoods.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation: $100,000 in 2016, $100,000 in 2017 and $100,000 in 2018 to continue the work of transforming distressed neighborhoods into livable communities, with particular focus on assisting Flint’s community development organizations to respond to the adverse effects of the water crisis on neighborhoods.
Court Street Village Non-Profit Housing Corporation: $40,000 in 2016 and $40,000 in 2017 and $40,000 in 2018 to support comprehensive neighborhood stabilization and revitalization strategies to combat the destabilizing effects of the water crisis in the Central Park and Fairfield Village neighborhoods of Flint.
Foundation for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation: Two grants — $150,000 and $150,000 — in 2016, $200,000 in 2017 and $150,000 in 2018 to enable the Flint Farmers’ Market to serve as a community health and wellness hub that combats the negative effects of lead exposure through year-round access to fresh produce and to services at the Hurley Children’s Center, which is located on the market’s premises. Also, $100,000 in 2016 and $85,000 in 2017 to support Flint area residents in developing food products for distribution and retail consumption through a commercial kitchen food business incubator located within the market. The Flint Food Works kitchen offers a unique community benefit by providing nutritional education to residents on how to prepare healthy food that will mitigate the effects of lead.
Genesee Chamber Foundation: $159,000 in 2016 and $160,000 in 2017 to create an editorially independent online publication that highlights the people and projects helping to fuel Flint’s ongoing revitalization. Also, $150,000 to support a program that, by expanding community access to grocery stores, seeks to help residents obtain the healthy foods that can reduce the long-term impacts of lead exposure.
Crim Fitness Foundation: $100,000 in 2016 and $100,000 in 2017 to support the Crim Fitness Foundation, which focuses on active living, physical fitness, nutrition and mindfulness. The Crim offers year-round programming for children and adults throughout the greater Flint area, much of which can help to address the health and wellness of Flint families and children who have been exposed to lead.
Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission: $750,000 in 2016, three grants — $2.4 million, $1.15 million and $700,000 — in 2017, and $430,000 in 2019 for the Flint Riverfront Restoration Project. This multi-year, collaborative effort will support public safety, create new recreational opportunities and link the campuses of Kettering University and the University of Michigan-Flint. Also, $25,000 to support parks programs and facilities in providing high quality recreational and learning opportunities for children and families, both of which are important in addressing the potential effects of childhood lead exposure.
United Way of Genesee County: $143,000 in 2016, $107,000 in 2018 and two grants — $71,500 and $70,000 — in 2019 to support and expand Flint SOUP, a program that helps area residents express their creative ideas, connect to the city’s broader entrepreneurial network, and explore and advance their small business concepts. Also,$100,000 to support efforts by the Flint Area Reinvestment Office to facilitate innovative community and economic development initiatives in the greater Flint area.
Mott Community College: $400,000 in 2016, $300,000 in 2018 and $300,000 in 2019 to help residents obtain job training and career advancement opportunities that will add economic strength to their families and the community.
St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center: $140,000 in 2016, $148,000 in 2018, $140,000 in 2019 and $120,227 in 2020 to provide underserved workers with job training and wraparound services that will help them to find and retain long-term, living-wage employment.
How You Can Help
While much of the international media attention has faded, many Flint residents still grapple daily with challenges resulting from the city’s water crisis. What’s more, it’s likely that children who were exposed to lead will require additional support and services for years or decades to come.
Donations to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund will support the long-term health and development needs of Flint children exposed to lead. The fund is held by the Foundation for Flint, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.